This article is written and featured on AIME's Website.
Leaving E-Z street: Becoming a President for activism
Posted April 6, 2019
Child of the USA, President AKA Michael P Anderson is using his talents and experience to pursue a world where everyone has access to opportunity.
I first went to Wall Street at age 16, then Harvard at 17. I was given the name, President by youth activists because we helped changed the laws around mental health and minimum wage.
My own people said I was crazy for thinking I would be a success when the rest of my family was struggling, but I did succeed - beyond anyone's wildest imagination.
I was born Michael P Anderson in Charlottesville, VA. At the time, my family lived in a trailer without indoor plumbing. I was born with five other siblings, and I was raised by my mom. AIDS affected my family, I lost my father, a cousin who introduced my parents, and an uncle, whose name I share, to the AIDS virus before I had reached second grade.
Growing up and seeing so many people I love pass away or be incarcerated scared me a lot and drove me to work really hard, be confident and define my own reality and aspirations.
I wanted everyone to know that they can achieve the impossible, even if they have humble beginnings. My mom and siblings always encouraged me to do extremely well in school, pushing myself to be an A-student. However, no one could understand my work ethic.
I grew up actively engaged in voter registration, canvassing for elections, and rapping. I was in a rap group throughout high school, and I released my first mixtape during this time. When I was 15, my mom helped me get an internship as a community organizer for America's oldest Civil Rights Group, the NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
Through community organizing and activism, I grew to appreciate my leadership role within the City of Newark, State of New Jersey, and the USA. I chose to be a Civil Rights Organizer and empower my people through politics, government, and the electoral process.
After high school, I got accepted into one of the top American Ivy League Universities with full scholarships, and I ultimately was recognized by McDonald's as the top black student in New York City/New Jersey.
I chose Harvard to make my family and community proud, and selected a degree in Government after I learned President JFK had a Harvard College Government degree.
Lord knows, I've witnessed generational curses. Seeing the tragedies in my family drove me to understand talent alone is meaningless unless you apply consistency and dedication.
My family is big, and many of my cousins and sisters have been huge assets to my development. I’ve seen my mom do so many kind things growing up. She was an Obstetric Nurse and led her Union to fight for workers’ rights. She started the HIV/AIDS group for our community church and that inspired me to act courageously for the survivors which I now aim to be an advocate for.
I left Wall Street and started making music professionally because I didn't want to die with my dreams still in me. I know that hip-hop is one of the most valuable cultures in the world, and if I could become a great rapper, I could create many businesses to help the people and communities I care to serve. I didn't want to wake up at 40, rich in materials but empty in purpose.
I made it from low circumstances and God placed me in this society in order to help transform it with kindness. Regardless of what is in the bank account, I'm an activist because I know that if we create equal opportunity, or a more egalitarian system, the world will be a better place. My mission is to help as many people as possible.
MPAC is an organisation I created that is the culmination of me rejecting life on E-Z Street in Corporate America, and choosing kindness. I refuse to live a life that does not create access to opportunity for others. MPAC is becoming the world's biggest investment vehicle for social impact and diverse companies, non-profits, governments, and universities.
I aim to inspire and motivate others to be the best and kindest version of themselves. I let my supporters know it's normal to struggle, to not have it all figured out, but to push through adversity. I'm open about my struggles, flaws, and refusal to embrace failure. I'm open about my faith.
I’ve learned that our destiny isn’t confined to our origin, and we don’t have to compromise our authenticity in order to thrive.